New York City is split up into many smaller neighbourhoods, each with its own individuality and character. In such a big city it can be hard to figure out what to do and the best places to go! So here is a simple guide to some of our favourite areas of the Big Apple and what to do in them!
Once the main artsy area in NYC, Soho still contains lots of art spaces such as The Drawing Center on Wooster Street. The cobbled stone streets give Soho a quaint village-like feel within this bustling city, with plenty of gorgeous boutique shops to browse in. Soho is also home to the fascinating NYC Fire Museum where you’ll find a memorial to the 343 heroic members of the NYFD who lost their lives on 9/11. For drinks in Soho, try Pegu Club, a stylish but casual cocktail lounge.
Tribeca (short for Triangle Below Canal Street) is where you should hang out in the hope of spotting celebrities. Big names like Robert De Niro have properties in Tribeca, and it is known as the film capital of NYC, with the famous Tribeca Film Festival hosted here. One of the best bars/restaurants in Tribeca is Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs. Bubby’s on Hudson Street is a great place to get stuck into some classic American comfort food.
The East Village
The East Village is a cool and quirky area full of record stores and vintage boutiques as well as new bars and restaurants. Here you’ll find cool and unusual events to go to such as the BYOV (bring your own vinyl) at The Garret East. For an amazing dinner in the East Village, go to Momofuku Ko, a high-end Asian/American restaurant serving beautifully presented and delicious food. For something a bit more affordable, try Edi & the Wolf, a rustic Austrian restaurant with a cosy interior. For the best ice cream you will ever taste go to Van Leeuwen. They also have dairy-free varieties! The East Village is full of lively bars such as PDT, The Wayland and the Holiday Cocktail Lounge.
Greenwich Village is known as one of the more bohemian neighbourhoods of New York City. Home to NYU, this area is full of young people and maintains a relaxed downtown vibe. Here you’ll find the famous Washington Square Park with its beautiful fountain and well-known arch dedicated to George Washington. Greenwich village is also home to many cute and cosy bookshops, independent cafés and restaurants, and chic cocktail bars. For Italian food, try Babbo Ristorante or Arturo’s and for drinks go to Blue Note. Shopaholics should head straight to Bleecker Street for that all-important retail therapy.
The West Village, Chelsea and Meatpacking Districts
The Chelsea area is famous for the Highline, a 1.45-mile linear park built on an elevated section of an abandoned railroad. Walking the Highline is a great activity and a really different way to admire New York City. Also in Chelsea you’ll find the Whitney Museum of American Art which opened in 2015 and is already one of the city’s major art hubs. You’ll also find the Gagosian and Gladstone Galleries here. In the Meatpacking district there is an incredible seafood restaurant called Catch NYC which has a great rooftop and is known for celebrity sightings. For drinks, go to Rye House, an old-school American pub serving whiskey cocktails among other great drinks. There are also some lively markets in this area such as the Chelsea Markets and the Gansevoort Market in the Meatpacking district.
(Dave Schumaker, Flickr)
Midtown is where you’ll do most of your sightseeing. Here you have the famous Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the beautiful Grand Central Station and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest Catholic cathedral in the USA. Go to the Top of the Rock at the Rockefellar Center for amazing views over the city, or go to 230 & Fifth rooftop bar which is open all year round and also has spectacular views. In summer try Output rooftop bar! Midtown is also home to some great speakeasies such as Blind Barber, The Backroom and Bathtub Gin. For food, head over to Hell’s Kitchen where you’ll find incredible restaurants like Don Antonio by Starita, a chic but casual pizza place, and Nizza an Italian restaurant with French influences. To enjoy the arts, go to the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) or catch a show on Broadway!
The Upper East Side
The Upper East Side of New York City has long been associated with old money and high society. It is full of wonderful art galleries and museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and The Frick Collection. For some of the best window-shopping you’ll ever do (or real shopping if you want to splurge) stroll down Madison Avenue where you’ll find flagship boutiques and fancy coffee shops.
New York City is such a diverse and wonderful place to get lost in and explore. There are so many things to do in all the different areas that you will feel like you never have enough time to do them! But that’s the beauty of the city that never sleeps.